It was with immense pride that I saw Red20RC mentioned in the Flite Test “Blunt Nose Versa Wing” episode. So it came as a bit of a shock when I decided to destroy the wing that started it all…
Let’s start by having a look at what I think was the final flight of the FPV Wing V2…
It was a great flight in less than perfect conditions but I had a few misgivings on reviewing the video.
- My center section was never the largest and squeezing even an 1800mah battery into the cramped bay was a chore.
- The GoPro mount wasn’t the best and the bottom of the camera was vulnerable on landings.
- I’d put my smaller 250mw FPV Tx in the wing with a basic cloverleaf antenna and it didn’t cope too well when we got higher and further out.
- Even with some colorful markings, it was difficult to tell which way was up!
- I kept breaking the vertical stabilsers off.
- There seemed to be a lot of instability in yaw. At times in the raw video footage the side-to-side wobble was quite pronounced.
So I decided that it was time to give the FliteTest Blunt Nose Versa Wing a go – with a few modifications of course.
Originally, I was going to just take the FPV gear out of my old wing but a couple of slashes with the box cutter and it was all over for the FPV Wing V2.
Blunt Nose Versa Wing
I’m not going to go into too many details about the build. The FT article and video are great and it really is only a Versa Wing with an extra bit in the middle.
I stuck to the plans pretty strictly for once, even keeping the tabs in the right places to see how it all worked. The new center section is a work of art. The FT guys have once again really thought this through and taken my, and other builder’s ideas and improved on them to the point of perfection.
I really liked the layout of the bays and the slightly larger area gave me enough room to fit my newly purchased 3600mah 3-cells in.
I did try to keep it neat by using my steel punches to keep the slots rounded and cutting access holes for the servos and other electronics. The build went quick, even with me trying to take my time!
In the end the build was so good that apart from some access holes the only change I made was to the vertical stabilisers.
I mentioned before that there was a definite wobble in the yaw axis especially at higher speeds. I think wings are always going to suffer from this to a certain extent as they just don’t have that nice long tail moment arm that produces a “weather vane” effect to keep them tracking nicely. On a wing therefore you are trying to achieve the same sort of effect as a skeg on a sailboat or surfboard. My feeling is that on previous wings the stabs are just too small to produce the desired effect so I decided to extend them upwards and see what happened. This modification would also serve a dual purpose as it will be easier to orientate the model if the stabs are not symmetrical.
The new vertical stabilisers are pure guesswork and to be honest they now look a little large! Time will tell…
I used foam board from different suppliers on the wing panels and center section. It came as a bit of a surprise then that the foam in the center was noticeably thicker than that in the panels. This isn’t a major deal (and better that way around to be honest) but it did make joining the three major components a bit more of a hassle than it should have been.
The extra space in the center bays made getting all the gear in a doddle. My new Taranis Rx and ImmersionRC 600mw FPV Tx went out in the wings with the ESC in the center to keep everything apart.
Power this time comes from a Turnigy Park 450 motor turning a 10 inch folding prop. This in combination with the 3600mah 3-cell lipo is putting out around 350W at full throttle. Assuming (hopefully) that cruise is at around half throttle the draw is only 10A so that should give me a good 30 minutes before I need to come down.
Following the FT build I put a plate under the camera and battery bay to strengthen the fixing points. I hate cutting ply at the best of times so I found that 3mm Correx plastic was an adequate replacement.
Balance is always an issue with wings but I reckoned that the new larger battery would help there. It came as a surprise then that it was still tail heavy and needed a little lead in the nose even with the battery wedged right up behind the GoPro. There is definitely an argument here for using a board camera next to the GoPro.
Waiting for the rain to stop…
So there you have it. The FPV Wing V3 is ready to go. Unfortunately we are now hitting the Autumn/Winter months down here in Australia and it is getting a lot wetter. I’ve got my fingers crossed for some sun later in the week so we can get out for a maiden.
In the meantime, here are some specs for you:
- Wingspan: 1180mm (46 inches)
- Total Weight: 1125g (including flight battery and camera)
- Power System: Turnigy Park 450 1200kv motor | Turnigy Plush 25A ESC | Turnigy 3600mah 3S1P lipo (30-40C discharge) | 10×4 folding prop
- FPV System: ImmersionRC 600mw Tx (5.8ghz) | Spironet circular polarized antenna | GoPro Hero 3 Black | FatShark Attitude SD goggles (internal Rx)
- Radio: FrSKY Taranis Tx | FrSKY V8FR-II Rx